Membership: answers to some of your frequently asked questions

What does my Bedgebury membership offer me?

Membership with the Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum enables you to park one car in the Bedgebury car park. However, we are happy to hold two different registrations on your record so that you can choose which car you bring to Bedgebury. Both vehicles must be registered to the same address.

Your membership is valid for admission throughout the membership year (excluding Christmas Day) during the opening times stipulated by Forestry England, Forestry England reserves the right at all times to close the site to visitors and members for special events, because of bad weather, or for health and safety reasons, without compensation. For current opening times, please refer to the Forestry England website: www.forestryengland.uk/bedgebury.

Membership does not guarantee admission to Bedgebury, nor does it offer a member any form of priority admission to Bedgebury. The facilities on offer at Bedgebury may vary from time to time.

As a Friend of Bedgebury Pinetum you will be entitled to additional membership benefits for the duration of your membership. These benefits may change at any time so please refer to our website: www.bedgeburypinetum.org.uk for the latest information.

Your membership entitles you to free or discounted admission to a number of partner gardens. The benefit applies only to the person(s) named on your membership card or letter, not the other household members.

How do I evidence my membership with the Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum?

If you joined or renewed your membership before 2nd July 2020, you will have been sent a letter in the post containing a pop-out membership card. This card will be laminated or, more recently, plain card. Since 2nd July 2020, we have been e-mailing members with a membership confirmation letter instead. Either this letter, or a card, can be presented to evidence your Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum membership.

Can I enter Bedgebury without my membership card or letter?

Admission to Bedgebury is managed using an automated number plate recognition system. Providing we hold details of your vehicle registration number, your membership is valid, and you are visiting within the terms of membership *, you will be able to enter and leave the site freely during your membership. 

If I don’t need my membership card or letter to visit Bedgebury, what is it for?

If you want to visit one of Bedgebury’s partner gardens or access your membership benefits at Bedgebury, you will need to evidence your Bedgebury membership in order to benefit. We, and the benefit providers, reserve the right to ask members for additional identification when claiming benefits in order to validate membership.

Can I use my Bedgebury membership to visit other Forestry England sites?

Your membership subscription is paid to the Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum. As a charity, the Friends applies all its surplus funds to projects that support Bedgebury’s visitor experience and the Friends’ charitable objectives for Bedgebury.

Bedgebury membership cannot be used at other Forestry England sites. They each have their own membership scheme operated by Forestry England.

There is one exception. Under the terms of the partner gardens noted in the benefits of your Bedgebury membership, you can gain free or discounted admission to Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, in Gloucestershire. Terms and conditions apply. Please check with Westonbirt for local visiting arrangements before you travel.

When can I start using my membership benefits?

As a Friend of Bedgebury Pinetum you will be entitled to additional membership benefits for the duration of your membership. These benefits may change at any time so please refer to our website: www.bedgeburypinetum.org.uk for the latest information.

Your membership entitles you to free or discounted admission to a number of partner gardens. The benefit applies only to the person(s) named on your membership card or letter, not the other household members.

When visiting partner gardens, please call the garden ahead of your visit to check that there are no restrictions in place on your chosen day for visiting.

The benefit providers reserve the right to ask our members for additional identification when claiming their benefits in order to validate membership.

We are a two-car family. Can we visit Bedgebury in either car?

Membership with the Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum enables you to park one car in the Bedgebury car park. However, we are happy to hold two different registrations on your record so that you can choose which car you bring to Bedgebury. Both vehicles must be registered to the same address.

If you bring friends or family to Bedgebury for the day in two or more cars, even if two of the registrations are recorded on your membership, only one car will be able to enter and leave the site freely under the membership *. Normal admission charges will be payable for the others.

Our family lives at two addresses, what is the best sort of membership for us?

Bedgebury membership entitles one car from a single household or address to park in the Bedgebury car park. Each household or address will therefore require their own Bedgebury membership.

What if I am in a temporary car for the day?

If you have a temporary car for the day, please e-mail: membership@bedgeburypinetum.org.uk before your visit to discuss the matter further.

When does my membership lapse?

Your membership will lapse 12 months from the date of payment, or 12 months from your previous lapse date, whichever is the latest.

What if my membership has lapsed and I don’t realise until I arrive at Bedgebury or try to leave Bedgebury?

You must renew your membership before or during your visit to Bedgebury. You can join online at any time and from anywhere by visiting our website: www.bedgeburypinetum.org.uk.

If you join before you leave the site and you are stopped at the gate, you will be asked for information from your renewal confirmation e-mail in order to exit the site.

If you don’t renew your membership before you leave Bedgebury, you will need to pay the normal admission fee for the day in order to exit the site. Admission fees are charged by Forestry England and are non-refundable.

If you are stopped at the gate on exit because your membership has lapsed and you have not paid the normal day admission charge, you will be asked to reverse from the exit gate in order to renew your membership online or to pay admission at one of the pay stations.

What if I have lost my membership card or letter?

You can request a replacement card or letter by e-mailing: membership@bedgeburypinetum.org.uk. A replacement card will be e-mailed to you. A £3 donation to assist with administration would be appreciated to ensure our funds can continue to be directed to help support the ongoing conservation work undertaken in the Pinetum. A donation can be made on our website: www.bedgeburypinetum.org.uk.

Does my membership give me unlimited admission into Bedgebury at all times?

Whilst your membership is valid for admission throughout the year (excluding Christmas Day) during the opening times stipulated by Forestry England, Forestry England reserves the right at all times to close the site to visitors and members for special events, because of bad weather, or for health and safety reasons, without compensation. For current opening times, please refer to the Forestry England website: www.forestryengland.uk/bedgebury.

Membership does not guarantee admission to Bedgebury, nor does it offer a member any form of priority admission to Bedgebury. The facilities on offer at Bedgebury may vary from time to time.

What happens if I arrive at Bedgebury and it has been closed without notice?

Whilst your membership is valid for admission throughout the year (excluding Christmas Day) during the opening times stipulated by Forestry England, Forestry England reserves the right at all times to close the site to visitors and members for special events, because of bad weather or for health and safety reasons, without compensation. For current opening times, please refer to the Forestry England website: www.forestryengland.uk/bedgebury.

Membership does not guarantee admission to Bedgebury, nor does it offer a member any form of priority admission to Bedgebury. The facilities on offer at Bedgebury may vary from time to time.

Can other people use my membership to gain admission to Bedgebury?

Your membership is for the use of your household only. We reserve the right to ask members for additional identification when visiting Bedgebury in order to validate membership.

How many people can I bring to Bedgebury with my membership?

Your membership enables you to park one car in the Bedgebury car park. Everyone arriving in the car can then gain admission to Bedgebury and its facilities. As minibuses, coaches, motorhomes, and trailers use more than one parking bay in the car park, admission and membership prices differ. Please visit the Forestry England website: www.forestryengland.uk/bedgebury or e-mail: membership@bedgeburypinetum.org.uk for more information.

Can my carer gain free admission to Bedgebury?

Provided your carer comes to Bedgebury in your car with you, they can gain admission to Bedgebury with you. When visiting a partner garden, please check their admission policy before you visit.

How do I renew my membership?

The easiest way to renew is to visit our website to join online: bedgeburypinetum.org.uk. This will ensure your membership commences or is renewed on the same day. If you are unable to renew online, or if you have a gift membership certificate to redeem, please e-mail: membership@bedgeburypinetum.org.uk and a member of the membership team will assist you.

How does a gift membership certificate work?

You can purchase a gift membership certificate online at www.bedgeburypinetum.org.uk for the membership fee prevailing at the date of purchase. We will then e-mail you a gift membership certificate to send to your intended recipient.

When the intended recipient is ready to start their membership, they should e-mail: membership@bedgeburypinetum.org.uk. The membership will commence on the date of redemption.

If I buy a gift membership certificate, who receives the membership certificate?

If you purchase a gift membership certificate, you will be e-mailed the gift certificate. You are then free to share it with the intended recipient as you choose. Each certificate is unique, and redemption is recorded to prevent misuse.

How do I cancel my membership?

Once admission has been granted under a membership, or 14 days have elapsed since the membership inception, the membership subscription will not be refunded under any circumstances.

Membership does not guarantee admission to Bedgebury, nor does it offer the member any form of priority admission to Bedgebury. The facilities on offer at Bedgebury may vary from time to time.

Can my membership be revoked?

We ask all members to abide by Forestry England notices and instructions when visiting Bedgebury, displaying respect for staff, volunteers and other visitors, and following all site and membership rules and requirements at all times. Conduct which causes distress, harassment or defamation will not be tolerated, neither will persistent or intentional rule breaking.

The Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum reserves the right to revoke membership from any member in breach of the guidelines in place.

Opt-in to hear from us!

From May 2018, our direct communications which do not directly relate to your membership require your consent. We will confirm your consent on renewal. Your details will not be sold or passed to third parties, so if you'd like to keep up to date Bedgebury’s news and events, please opt-in when asked. You can opt out at any time by e-mailing: membership@bedgeburypinetum.org.uk.

What can I gift aid?

The Bedgebury membership subscription is not a donation and does not attract gift aid. However, if you top-up your membership with a donation, or you sponsor a tree, bench or mosaic block at Bedgebury, and you confirm your eligibility for gift aid at the point of donation, the Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum will be able to claim gift aid.